Book Review: Unwilling Key by Sarah Beth Moore (eARC)

I am so excited to have the chance to read this Kindle eARC (Electronic Advance Reader Copy) of Unwilling Key by Sarah Beth Moore in exchange for an honest review.  This is my fifth ARC. It’s also the sequel to Broken Moon, which I reviewed last year. To be clear, my opinions are all my own.

Here’s the synopsis of the book, pulled from Amazon:

Naiya Legerdemain has successfully escaped the City and saved her adoptive family. Now hiding in the underground rebel stronghold, Athens, she finds herself at loose ends – both unable to leave and unable to fulfill the mission her father left her before he died.

In place of her mission, she is expected to play her role as the resistance’s figurehead, learn to fight, train her powers and discover the true purpose of her family’s ancient line. And frankly, she couldn’t be less interested.

Even worse, she’s begun seeing things. Strange, shadowy apparitions that threaten to overthrow her already questionable sanity. The reappearance of her old enemy, the Home Guard, along with a growing unease about what Athens is and what it stands for, further undermine her grip on reality. Combined with the knowledge that human souls are fast running out, life has become very unpleasant indeed.

At her side is Tate, the brainiac beauty whom she loves to hate (and hates to love), her sweet little brother/monster Pip, the giant hulking hunter, Achilles, and the boy she’s not supposed to love: Enoch. Of course, with the addition of a new member of their party – handsome Aidan – things have gotten slightly more interesting.

Will Naiya be able to discern good from evil, friend from foe, in this newest installment of the Broken Moon series? Will she get the guy and win the day? Most importantly, will she do it all without freaking the hell out? Well, only time will tell.

The cover of the first book in the series, Broken Moon, looks like this:

And the cover of Unwilling Key is just as gorgeous!

We all know by now how much I appreciate lovely covers.

Finally, here’s my review of Unwilling Key!

To start, I loved Unwilling Key! Broken Moon‘s magical dystopian world hooked me from the start, and this continues in Unwilling Key. I love the descriptive language Sarah Beth Moore uses to depict these intricate, if battered, settings. Also, one of my favourite aspects of the setting of Unwilling Key is its dystopia – it is a world without maps, with little tether to what it once was. This episode in the series begins to reveal the geographical locations of some of the cities as places that really exist in our world today. These connections are intriguing and sometimes funny, as are the names citizens of the new cities choose for their homes, without the knowledge of what they had been before.

Even with a few more grounding details, things get even more mysterious and interesting in Unwilling Key, constantly adding questions to a never-ending list of things you want to understand, while slowly unraveling the answers through a plot that is both action and character-driven.

Other Awesome Stuff

Characters I loved in Broken Moon remain loveable, while this instalment also introduce new characters who immediately catch my attention and reel me in. Their interactions are authentic and dynamic. Also, the political conflict gets more elaborate and complicated as new cities and worlds come into play. But it remains entirely believable, especially given our world’s contemporary political climate.

Sarah Beth Moore also crafts a very strong female lead character. I think that’s one of the things I like best. This isn’t your average, run-of-the-mill “downtrodden female character discovers she has powers and immediately is able to use them to save the world” story. Naiya, the main character, has an amazing monologue. In it, she says just that, in better words (but I’ll refrain from spoiling it for you). Instead, she faces real struggle in harnessing her powers and left me feeling that she was much more deserving than most in the end.

Unwilling Key is an exciting, action-packed read and I enjoyed it from cover to cover!

Overall, 5/5 stars!

I highly recommend this dystopian sci-fi adventure story of love, resilience, and determination.

Finally, if you’re an author looking for a review for your new work…

I would love to write one for you! Seeing a review request in my inbox is so exciting! In fact, I’ve got another ARC in my inbox right now!  Stay tuned for a review of that in the near future.

You need to get copies of Broken Moon and Unwilling Key right away!!

Happy Reading!

– Paperback Patronus

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